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Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Executive Profile: Denise Gorman, vice president, Commerce Bank of Arizona Scottsdale branch

Gorman is in charge of the branch’s day-to-day operations, including administration, human resources, marketing, organizational change and project management. 

Before joining Commerce Bank, she was in charge of retail banking at Arizona Bank & Trust. Since moving to the Valley in 1980, Gorman said the massive growth has been the most startling change she’s witnessed. “Going from a kind of small, quiet town to the sixth-largest city in the U.S. in 30 years was pretty amazing,” she said. “I’m from the Detroit area, so when I moved to Arizona I missed some of the big-city advantages that we’ve come to have.”

Some of the advantages she’s glad to have here are concerts and other events at ASU Gammage, US Airways Center and other venues; the Phoenix Art Museum; the Phoenix Symphony; and the Phoenix Coyotes.
“The only sport my husband follows is hockey, so having a hockey club in town is a huge boon for him,” she said.
Up close
Hometown: Pontiac, Mich.
Residence: Scottsdale
Family: Met husband, Richard, in high school; just celebrated their 37th anniversary
Pets: Two dogs, Snuggles and Tuxedo
Education: Undergraduate degree in business administration, Michigan State University; MBA, University of Phoenix; graduate, Pacific Coast Banking School at University of Washington; Professional in Human Resources designation
Charities: Just because of the care they gave my mother-in-law, my husband and I always support Hospice of the Valley. What they do, they’re just incredible.
For fun
Hobbies: I enjoy walking my dogs and visiting new places in Arizona that I haven’t been to. I haven’t visited Jerome in many years, and I think it’s changed a lot, so I’d like to go back there.
Favorite restaurant: Nick’s at Pinnacle Peak; and Pima, which serves Italian food
Favorite vacation spot: Carmel, Calif. It’s got beautiful ocean views and beaches. It’s quiet and quaint.
Start: I got into banking right out of college, starting on a management development program with the third-largest bank in Detroit. I’ve always been in banking, in different aspects.
Most important lesson learned: Treat people with respect, the way you’d like to be treated. Banking is a pretty small community, and you end up working with the same people in different organizations. I had one employee work with me in four different banks.
Best part of the job: I like the diversity of it. I’m involved in business development, sales marketing, some product design — a variety of responsibilities.

Biggest influence on you: My dad. He was self-educated and self-employed, and so he taught me a lot of the basics about business, and how to treat people, and what’s important. He taught me a “run it like you own it” mentality that I’ve implemented wherever I’ve worked.

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